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What can I do w/ my T61?

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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jharrison29
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Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Reno, Nv.

What can I do w/ my T61?

#1 Post by jharrison29 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:24 pm

Haven't used my T61 for several years. Pulled it out of basement and installed 32bit linux and found 1) a frozen hinge threatening to break the screen bezel and 2) 32bit linux is too old (lacking recent security updates) for my liking.

Reading around here I see lots of interesting possibilities but I'm not sure which way to go with my T61.
Specs: 15.4 widescreen, intel core 2 duo T9300, graphics Intel X3100 GM965, 3GB RAM, model type 6465CTO, BIOS 2.27 7LETC7WW 2010-04-08

I plan to tear it down to see if I can fix the hinge, if that doesn't work I'll investigate new hinges (noting that member TuuS may be a source). Since it will be torn down anyway I'll probably wash the keyboard as some keys are flakey. I've already popped the key covers on some keys and cleaned around but that was not good enough. The fingerpad is kinda flakey, I haven't figured out yet if that is the OS I installed or if there is a hardware issue. I need to check that out too.

I keep reading little snippets about 64bit OS's but I didn't think the T61 ever came w/ 64bit components. Can I run 64 bit linux on this thing? - it would be while traveling, not as a primary workstation.

If I can run 64bit, is there anything I should be looking to optimize while I have it apart for the hinge?

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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:31 pm

You can upgrade to 2x4=8GB RAM (PC2-5300 or better: PC2-6400).
Middleton's BIOS is a must.
Any 64-bit OS (W7 or Linux) will run great on it.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

Cigarguy
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#3 Post by Cigarguy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:20 pm

I still run the older generation T60 as my daily machine. Serves me fine for web browsing, emails and Office stuff. Anything more demanding is done on my desktops. A T61 is still useful. Agree with RBS' comments except that 2x4GB ram is still expensive. Fortunately 2x2GB ram is inexpensive and will allow you to run Win 7 or most 64 bit Linux just fine. The biggest improvement though is a SSD. SSD are cheap these days.

ac12
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#4 Post by ac12 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:23 pm

I am running Win7 (64bit) on my T61.
Max the RAM to 8GB, or at least to 6GB.
I replaced the spinning HD with a SSD, which made it much snappier and easier on the battery life. (best with Middleton BIOS)
If it does not have Blue Tooth, put in the BT module. The alternate is a USB BT rcvr which will take one of your USB ports.
Upgrade the WiFi module. (requires Middleton BIOS)

jharrison29
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Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Reno, Nv.

Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#5 Post by jharrison29 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:06 pm

Great info in less than an hour!

I don't know if I need BT but if so a dongle will work for my needs. My HD is 7200rpm 200gb w/ encryption and IIRC some other high end features that I've forgotten (impact resistance?). I'm on fence re: SSD.
Middleton sounds like it's easy enough to do. What does an upgraded wifi module do for me? WPA2 maybe? I don't even recall what the 4965AGN is capable of (or lacks).

Is there a preferred vendor for these suggestions other than eBay/Amazon? I did visit a website (boardroom) earlier today that I found linked while searching here for hinge info. The best info I found on hinges is to PM TuuS. Any other sources?
You guys have given me plenty of info to research.
THANKS!

Annecy
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#6 Post by Annecy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:00 am

jharrison29 wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:06 pm
"I don't even recall what the 4965AGN is capable of (or lacks)."
Here's an example of how the 4965AGN in my 14.1ws T61 (Intel) performs: :arrow:
Image
(when connected to a "state-of-the-art"/ "AC-Router" :thumbs-UP:)
Last edited by Annecy on Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2005: T30 2366-85U (XP)
2015: T43 2686-M7U
2017: T61 14.1"ws
2018: T61p 6457-V9K ¦ T60 2008-4AU & 2613-CTO ¦ T420s 4174-BB4
2017: 2 OtC MS-W7s

(WiP: :help:
~revive T30 XP-install ¦ ~T43 SATA-MOD
~sell T61ws
~Max T61p & T60-2008
~Find Ultimate "ClassicTP"
)

jharrison29
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#7 Post by jharrison29 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:19 am

So why should I upgrade the wifi module for Middleton?

Annecy
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#8 Post by Annecy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:25 am

jharrison29 wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:24 pm
"1) a frozen hinge ...

Specs: 15.4 widescreen ...

I plan to tear it down to see if I can fix the hinge,
if that doesn't work I'll investigate new hinges (noting that member TuuS may be a source).

it would be while traveling, not as a primary workstation ...
"
My new/used 15.4"(08/08 nVidia) T61p
(which ... due to it's large/r size would/will be mostly an "@Home/DeskTop laptop for me)
has "wobbly" hinges ... and has to be closed carefully ...
('cuz otherwise the display will close with a THUD :SH!:)

I've been wondering what (if anything) I could do about these hinges :?: :??: :help:

jharrison29
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Reno, Nv.

Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#9 Post by jharrison29 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:33 am

Annecy wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:25 am
I've been wondering what (if anything) I could do about these hinges :?: :??: :help:[/size]
I have the opposite problem. Due to frozen hinge merely attempting to change the lid causes severe distortion of the bezel and it will probably crack the plastic if I continue. I'll be digging into it this week.
Hopefully, I can get the hinge to free up after I remove it.

So far I've found hinges on eBay but lots of comments online about how poor their quality is. Still looking for a source.

Annecy
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#10 Post by Annecy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:33 am

jharrison29 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:19 am
"So why should I upgrade the wifi module for Middleton?"
There are other/good reasons to FLASH M's BIOS ...
Doing so will ... as a matter of course ...
REMOVE the WiFi Whitelist/Restriction ~
which would allow for various expanded/custom configuration options :banana:

ImageImage

storm-chaser
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#11 Post by storm-chaser » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:02 pm

The 4965AGN is a great card but poses a problem for those wanting to run windows 10 on a T61.

The Wireless driver is not compatible with Windows 10, although it will appear to operate normally, until the inevitable blue screen of death.

This is why the Middleton BIOS is so important. It allows you to upgrade the WIFI using ANY adapter.

Obviously, this is not a problem for those running Linux, just wanted to point out the issue since I just had to deal with it on my T61p.
AMD Phenom II 965 @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
AMD Phenom II 960T @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
Lenovo T61p 15.4" - Core 2 extreme X9000 CPU @ 3.4Ghz, SSD
Toshiba Satellite A505D - 2.5Ghz, 4GB RAM, 80GB SSD

jharrison29
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Reno, Nv.

Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#12 Post by jharrison29 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:20 pm

storm-chaser wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:02 pm
Obviously, this is not a problem for those running Linux, just wanted to point out the issue since I just had to deal with it on my T61p.
Great, thanks. I'll try to install debian x64 over my x32 install and see if it works.
I've downloaded Middleton but not yet installed it. I'll wait until I fix my hinge problem. If I can't fix it then no use supercharging my machine.

SirionRazzer
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#13 Post by SirionRazzer » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:43 pm

I have also faced BSOD issues (DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, netwlv64) with Intel 4965 AGN and Windows 10. Solution is some of these:
* turning off power mgmt and/or 'n mode' in driver -> didnt work for me
* old fujitsu Vista driver -> using just this without any changes (power mgmt is checked and 'n mode' enabled) and haven't got any issues since.

fujitsu driver is available at http://support.ts.fujitsu.com/IndexDown ... B9EE06A910

*my machine is HP 8510w, but people reported success with Dells and Lenovos also.

storm-chaser
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#14 Post by storm-chaser » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:32 pm

SirionRazzer wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:43 pm
I have also faced BSOD issues (DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, netwlv64) with Intel 4965 AGN and Windows 10. Solution is some of these:
* turning off power mgmt and/or 'n mode' in driver -> didnt work for me
* old fujitsu Vista driver -> using just this without any changes (power mgmt is checked and 'n mode' enabled) and haven't got any issues since.

fujitsu driver is available at http://support.ts.fujitsu.com/IndexDown ... B9EE06A910

*my machine is HP 8510w, but people reported success with Dells and Lenovos also.
Thank you. I really appreciate the response because I have been searching high and low for a resolution to this problem.
AMD Phenom II 965 @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
AMD Phenom II 960T @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
Lenovo T61p 15.4" - Core 2 extreme X9000 CPU @ 3.4Ghz, SSD
Toshiba Satellite A505D - 2.5Ghz, 4GB RAM, 80GB SSD

Cigarguy
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#15 Post by Cigarguy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:58 pm

Not a fan of the 4965 wireless card. I found they ran hot and uses a lot of power which is not good in a battery powered portable device. To me they are also buggy. I've replaced all of them in my Thinkpads, Elitebooks and Lattitudes. I'm a fan of Atheros ar9380 and Intel 6200/6300N cards.

Is there anything on the HDD that really need encryption? If the data are that top secret then take the drive out and store in a secure place. A new cheap 120 GB SSD drive in Calgary, Alberta, Canada can be had for $45 Cdn, even less used ($20ish). Put the SSD in there and try out a few Linux distro or Windows. For the Linux distro you can try a live Linux distro out without installing it to a HDD, I have a $5 8GB USB key drive that I use for this purpose. I could use a CD too but CDs takes too long and are wasted afterwards.

Worse comes to worse you don't like any of this and throw your T61 away. No big loss, the wifi card and SSD drive can easily be used elsewhere. I've got one SSD drive that I've used on multiple machines. Still waiting for it to die but it still ticks along. When it goes I got a 250 GB and 500 GB SSD drive waiting to replace it. HDD are many used for backup.

Middleton's BIOS is just that, it's a BIOS modified software with some goodies that Lenovo never provided. It can be loaded anytime and doesn't hurt anything. As RBS says it's a must and it's one of the first thing I do when getting a new T61/X61T.

Hinges on a T61 are known to be too loose and wobble. You have the opposite problem which I suspect will get better and loose with some use. TuuS is indeed the man for all things T61. Great guy to deal with.

storm-chaser
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#16 Post by storm-chaser » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:42 pm

Cigarguy wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:58 pm
Not a fan of the 4965 wireless card. I found they ran hot and uses a lot of power which is not good in a battery powered portable device. To me they are also buggy.
I'm just curious how you measured or metered your Wifi's power output. Like swapping cards and measuring battery run time? As far as the 4965 being buggy, I've never had an issue short of the Windows 10 driver problem listed above which is a much more "recent" dilemma. All of my T61s over the years have had the 4965AGN and I've never noticed any heat over the keyboard area that would lead me to believe the card is overheating or running hot. Just providing my own feedback as well, however I've never used the Atheros cards so my knowledge is incomplete. I would trust Cigarguy and his opinions relative to the T61 just curious about how you came to your wifi conclusions and what bugs you noticed with the aforementioned intel card. thanks!
AMD Phenom II 965 @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
AMD Phenom II 960T @ 4.1Ghz, 8GB DDR3 1600, SSD
Lenovo T61p 15.4" - Core 2 extreme X9000 CPU @ 3.4Ghz, SSD
Toshiba Satellite A505D - 2.5Ghz, 4GB RAM, 80GB SSD

ac12
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Re: What can I do w/ my T61?

#17 Post by ac12 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:57 pm

re: the Middleton BIOS

The Middleton BIOS is needed if you want to get more performance out of your spinning HD.
As I recall the T61 runs in SATA-1 mode.
Implementing the Middleton BIOS allows the T61 to run in SATA-2 mode. So through-put to/from the HD is increased. Though you will notice this more with a SSD than a spinning HD.

I don't know which motherboard and CPU you have, but upgrading the CPU in the older T61s will require the Middleton BIOS.
I have one that I waited too long, and now have to replace the dead fan, before I can upgrade the BIOS then CPU.

As others, I did not want to be stuck to just the IBM/Lenovo whitelist WiFi modules. The Middleton BIOS lets me use whatever WiFi board that I want to.

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